SUMMER is the season for parties, holidays and relaxation - yet the Christmas spirit can quickly turn to despair when natural disasters strike.
Here are some tips to prepare for a severe storm or cyclone.
Severe storm or cyclone
Home emergency plan
Learn how a severe storm could impact your home, the location of exit points in the house, where to go if you need to evacuate, how to stay in contact if you're separated from each other, requirements for those with medical conditions or special needs, what to do with any pets.
Have a home emergency kit
Your home emergency kit should be able to maintain you and your family for three to five days, including these items:
Fresh water, non-perishable food, can opener, first aid kit, portable radio, torch, spare batteries, mobile phone and charger, sturdy gloves, essential medication, important documents, waterproof bag for valuables, toiletries.
Keep your home emergency kit in a waterproof storage box and check its contents regularly for out-of-date items.
Prepare your home
Check your house to make sure it's in good condition - clear gutters, trim tree branches, secure loose items. Ensure your home and contents insurance is up to date. Learn how to safely turn off your power, water and gas.
Tune in to your local radio and TV station for storm warnings and weather updates. Log on to BoM, the Queensland Disaster Management website, your local council's website.
Act quickly on advice given by emergency services.
Check on neighbours and friends who may need special assistance. Shelter any pets or farm animals.
Park vehicles under cover or protect with secured tarpaulins or blankets.
Take shelter in the safest room or evacuate as required. Activate emergency plan or emergency kit if necessary.
A higher number of heat waves is predicted for this summer.
If you have visitors unacclimatised to the heat, remind them to keep cool.
Check on elderly neighbours and pets.
An extended bushfire season means the potential for total fire bans - disregarding total fire bans can attract fines of up to $5500 and/or 12 months' jail, or $100,000 and 14 years' jail if the fire escapes and damages environments.
THE Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a higher likelihood of riverine and flash flooding this summer for Noosa.
Winter and spring rains have caused the ground below to become soaked, which means run off will sit above ground.
There are a number of ways to prepare in the event of a flood.
At your home, store poisons and garden chemicals well above ground level.
Identify items, such as white goods and electronics, that will need to be raised if the water level threatens.
Do not enter floodwater by car - if it's flooded, forget it.
Don't enter floodwater by person - even water 30cm deep could sweep you off your feet and floodwater can be polluted and harmful.
Be prepared to evacuate and follow the directions of emergency services.
The Noosa Council will have sandbags available at certain areas, including Bunnings Noosaville.
Check the BoM and council websites for closed roads.
Minimise trips out in to heavy rain or storms - stay indoors until it is safe to leave.
Tune in to local radio.
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